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Here’s What Reese Harper Has Been Up To – Podcast Episode 285


How the Mindfulness Movement is Changing Financial Advice

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On this episode of the Dentist Money™ Show, Ryan welcomes back Reese Harper, founder of Dentist Advisors. During the show, Ryan quizzes Reese on his latest business venture, Elements. You’ll hear how focusing on a niche can strengthen any enterprise, plus get a good look at the challenges of a start-up. It’s your behind-the-scenes look at how Reese is trying to change the future of financial planning.

 


 

Podcast Transcript

Ryan Isaac:
Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of the Dentist Money Show sponsored by Dentist Advisors, a no commission fiduciary dentist only comprehensive financial advisor for dentists all over the country just like you, check us out dentistadvisors.com. All right folks, today is a super special episode that I am just really excited to bring to you guys. If you are a little bit older listener, not older in age but you go back aways with us on the Dentist Money Show, or with Dentist Advisors way back, you’ll know the guy, you’ll know the guest today. Today’s guest is who we call Big Hoss. It’s the Big Hoss Reese Harper, founder, CEO, all around just amazing dude. I just love this guy. He’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I’ve known him for so long. He’s a mentor. He’s kind of like my financial adviser godfather.

Ryan Isaac:
Today we sat down to talk about what he’s been working on and what he’s building and trends he’s seeing in the industry of giving financial advice to people and where it’s headed and what’s broken and what’s not working. And just true to form, we talked about food, we talked about financial advice. It’s just so good to have Reese in here and back on the show and to hear what’s rattling around in his brain and to get a little bit of time from him. so many many thanks to Reese for taking some time. He’s busy guy these days as always. And I think you guys will just love this episode. It’s great to hear from [inaudible 00:01:21] again. So you’re joining us for the first time, welcome, thank you very much. If you got questions for us, head over the website Dentistadvisors.com, book the free consultation [inaudible 00:01:29] we’ll have a chat with you, love to help out any way we can. And thanks for being here guys. Really appreciate it, enjoy the show.

Announcer:
Consultant advisor conduct your own due diligence when making financial decisions, general principles discussed during this program do not constitute personal advice. This program is furnished by Dentist Advisors, a registered investment advisor. This is Dentist Money. Now, here’s your host, Ryan Isaac.

Ryan Isaac:
Welcome to the Dentist Money Show where we help dentists make smart financial decisions. I am human named Ryan Isaac and this feels so good and weird at the same time. I am here with the man, Reese Harper, we call him Big Hoss, what’s up Reese? Thanks for joining [crosstalk 00:02:10]. How are you doing?

Reese Harper:
What’s up Ryan?

Ryan Isaac:
How are you doing?

Reese Harper:
Dude, solid day, being able to podcast-

Ryan Isaac:
[crosstalk 00:02:14] good.

Reese Harper:
… with you in the afternoon, a sunny Wednesday.

Ryan Isaac:
Yes.

Reese Harper:
Hump day.

Ryan Isaac:
As it used to be.

Reese Harper:
Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
As it used to be on a good old hump day. The people have demanded it. The people now turning on this episode, they’re feeling it. They’re just like Reese Harper, so just in case we got new listeners, which is super cool. In case someone is new, and they haven’t gone back, like more than six or seven months on the podcast, Reese Introduce yourself. It’s so funny [crosstalk 00:02:47] to be asking this question.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, well, I was what…

Ryan Isaac:
Who are you man?

Reese Harper:
I was like episode one through-

Ryan Isaac:
2.

Reese Harper:
And then…

Ryan Isaac:
200.

Reese Harper:
200, yeah, one [crosstalk 00:02:57]. Me and Ryan launched the podcast together and we started Dentist Advisors together a long time ago. So for those of you who don’t know, I still work with clients at Dentist Advisors, I still have my clients that I keep working with. And I’m also working on a tool right now that helps Dentist Advisors be able to be a little bit more efficient, and do financial planning in a way that helps. It simplifies it for the dentist, and helps it be easier to understand. And Ryan and I developed the start of this tool inside of Dentist Advisors many years ago. And in the last year and a half, it’s been a tool that other advisors are starting to use. We actually just started developing it about a year and a half ago, but it started being sold through the app store and directly to these firms only in April of this year.

Reese Harper:
So we didn’t really have a way to sell it before April, just happened. So it’s been about a year and a half of development, and now we’re finally getting to see this is what they call founder sales moment. So I’m going to be in founder sales mode probably for the next year and that’s what I do now. The company is called Elements and you can see it at getelements.com and it started inside-

Ryan Isaac:
It’s amazing.

Reese Harper:
… Dentist Advisors and you may not know this, but Dentist Advisors is kind of famous in the financial planning industry.

Ryan Isaac:
I don’t know that.

Reese Harper:
It’s uncommon for a business to focus on a target customer like one occupation, it’s very rare. It’s probably less than 2% of the industry is a specialist firm right now.

Ryan Isaac:
I don’t know these things.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, and exclusively specialist firm, where they say no to other types of people through their marketing and through their positioning. They deliberately say, we do anesthesiologists, we do veterinarians, where we work with oil repair shop founders, Chick-fil-A founders. They’ll find these specialist advisors out there that really carve out a niche and they get to know a lot about the customer, and there’s not a lot of them. So Dentist Advisors is kind of known for like, one of the niches just deep niches, people who have gone after their niche really aggressively. And so Ryan and Matt and Matt the mountain.

Ryan Isaac:
Matt the…

Reese Harper:
Hollywood Matt new father.

Ryan Isaac:
New father.

Reese Harper:
This week, yeah. So anyway, that’s what I do. So we’re trying to solve a big problem right now in the industry and we got a great start and some good momentum.

Ryan Isaac:
So cool, man, there’s like different things I wanted to talk about today. One of them, I mean, so if we back up a little bit, you’ve already been, in fact you’ve been in founders mode, I don’t know if you’ll ever get out of founders mode. You’re a perennial founder, eternal founder.

Reese Harper:
Some people are kind of wired once they get out of that mode, they want to go back into it. And I don’t love it, like it’s painful. It’s kind of like I wake up every morning and there’s a little bit of like dread of like my day, because I have appointments every 30 minutes of the day and they go from-

Ryan Isaac:
All day long.

Reese Harper:
They go from 9:00 till 6:00. And I’m working really intense hours right now, Monday through Friday.

Ryan Isaac:
Pressure never ends. Like it’s always breathing down your neck. You rest but you rest at the peril of maybe not even making [crosstalk 00:07:13].

Reese Harper:
Yeah, like I can’t tell you how many times in the last couple years, like I’ve just wished I was just a financial planner and only doing that. So I mean that all those things are challenging. So I know a lot of dentists will be able to relate to this. I mean, you’re trying to like, you’ve got that vision for how to just take that lifestyle practice to the point where it’s providing jobs for a few associates, maybe open another location or to maybe you have aspirations to start a DSO that like focuses on preventative care, the way you see it. You want to change the industry from a reactive care model to something that’s more holistic and like it’s hard when you’re in that grind of doing something new, that changes the behavior of a market.

Reese Harper:
It’s easier to just come in, like with a product that just does the same thing everyone’s already used to, but cheaper. So like you’re already used to seeing the dentist, just see this dentist and it’s cheaper. That one works easy. What’s hard is when you’re like, Hey, I know you think this is what the dentist costs. But like, you’re not getting good care and in fact, your preventative habits are very poor and you’re not spending enough on X, Y and Z treatment.

Ryan Isaac:
Not only something new, but it costs more than you’re used to pay.

Reese Harper:
And you have to change your behavior, we need you to come in twice a year, not once every time you feel pain or, there really is a reason data showing we have three times a year is probably the right level of proactivity. It’s going to be better for you, like look at all these benefits. There’s a lot of evidence showing that the mouth is connected to the gut and that the diet is connected to the mouth. And you know that we couldn’t be analyzing sleep apnea, we can analyze sleeping patterns. We can analyze diet. Like you should…

Ryan Isaac:
But you got to convince a whole population sample that have never thought that before-

Reese Harper:
But they’re like I-

Ryan Isaac:
… to do it and pay for it.

Reese Harper:
… I want to just do filling, like I wanted to pay… the coupon said 99 bucks, right.

Ryan Isaac:
But someone like, the world changes because some people stick it out and they just keep pushing on the public to go, “No, this is the future of this thing. We have to do this.” And it’s just got to be an interesting position to be in. I wanted to ask, I guess two main themes I wanted to ask about that have to do with the industry of giving financial advice, where it’s headed, what the polls, what it’s like right now because like you said you spend your days now having a dozen conversations a day with financial advisors and financial advisory teams around the country, trying to explain to them not only a new piece of software, but it’s a new philosophy. Like the way that we developed how to do financial planning, the way that you built it in Dentist Advisors was very different from what’s seen in the industry.

Ryan Isaac:
So I guess, track number one, what’s the pulse out there with financial advisors as a career? What are they feeling? The average age of a financial advisor is like 55. I don’t know, if you’re talking to average advisors at the end of their career, if you’re talking to new advisors. How do people view the typical product sale advice path in the industry versus actually giving advice, being a more of a consultant role, like what’s the pulse on all this? I mean, you’re having so many conversations.

Reese Harper:
Well, hopefully this will be insightful to all the audience who’s like working with an advisor and some of you are working with Dentist Advisors, some of you’re not. I think this will be insightful for you to kind of understand the way the financial advisory industry is evolving. The first thing probably to note is that like, I’m targeting a specific type of a segment of the market that is giving advice, and I’m avoiding a part of the market that is selling products.

Ryan Isaac:
How do you target that? Like, how are you going about finding… Is it obvious?

Reese Harper:
So there’s a couple big associations that are, the part of the market that I’m targeting is called the fee only market. Dentist Advisors is a fee only shop or a no commission shop. What that means is like they have a higher ethical standard than a lot of the commission based sales brokers do out there. But the bulk of the 400, there’s about 400,000 people out there in the United States that have securities licenses. Well, I should say, that have securities licenses or call themselves a broker of some kind. There’s a lot of life insurance agents that don’t have securities licenses that call themselves financial planners. They’re still, and I don’t know how many, it’s difficult to measure how many of those there are, but there’s hundreds of thousands of more of those.

Reese Harper:
But let’s say there’s 350,000 people in the country that give advice. So it’s about twice the size of the dental market. And then of that market, it segments down into, I would segment it further by people who have their Certified Financial Planner designation. So a CFP is kind of like we’ll call it your… it’s kind of like having an actual degree or credential to be able to do financial planning. It’s a fairly strenuous test, there’s some ethical standards, and it’s a little higher level of ethical care. So if you’re a CFP, you probably really want to do planning the right way or you care about it, you have an interest in it. There’s just shy of 100,000 of those in the country.

Ryan Isaac:
Tops, [inaudible 00:13:14] total.

Reese Harper:
Total. And so of the 350,000, only 100,000 of them really are serious enough to say, I’m going to go through the pain of schooling, maybe a grueling two day exam, a pretty extensive, we’ll call it set of classes that I have to pass before I can sit for the exam.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s a couple years of your time from start to finish.

Reese Harper:
I wouldn’t say it’s like unlike, like someone who’s willing to go to this level is there isn’t really… I have a master’s degree in finance, but that’s different than financial planning finances, like forecasting and modeling in venture capital, but financial planning is more about taxes and estate planning and insurance and investments and more personal finance related and so that part of the market is who I’m targeting is the CFP, equal market and you can get lists to figure out who those are. And then from there I’m only, there are some CFPs that are still kind of not really doing planning but they just kind of fake like they are a little bit.

Ryan Isaac:
Like fell into a career like probably the easiest career available when they look for a job as a sales position [crosstalk 00:14:30] some bank or insurance companies [crosstalk 00:14:31] even though they hold the CFP.

Reese Harper:
So I segment a little further from that down to finding registered investment advisors. And registered investment advisors are what Dentist Advisors is, that’s an independent firm that is not tied to like any big parent company. They’re like completely autonomous like a little local boutique dental shop instead of a national DSO. So I’m targeting Like these boutique, solo practices, small groups 2:00 to 5:00 financial planners that are CFPs plus they’re independent RAA’s. Those are the people I’m targeting and that’s-

Ryan Isaac:
It’s narrow.

Reese Harper:
… that’s a narrow part of market. That’s about 40,000 people. The main problem with all the existing solutions is that there is almost no client engagement with those pieces of software. Meaning the client, the end client, the dentist, the doctor, the lawyer that Ryan is working with, they don’t maintain and update their data. They don’t try to collaborate, they’re more… The software is run by the advisor, it was built for the advisor, it was designed for the adviser to be able to run a projection of the future or forecast scenario in the future kind of just a guess about what the future looks like. And then the advisors started selling those plans in the ’90s. And so early 2000s, like it was one of the main growth markets of the early 2000s, which is where all the software for financial planning was built, was advisors that were trying to sell a financial plan that was a guess about the future.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s just to…

Reese Harper:
How it would turn out.

Ryan Isaac:
And that’s the plan.

Reese Harper:
And then charge two, three grand for that, five grand for that 15 grand for that.

Ryan Isaac:
Print it out. It was a big thing [crosstalk 00:16:27].

Reese Harper:
The more different reports you could put in that binder, the more you could charge for it. Like could you project the way that people’s estate taxes would flow? Could you project the way that they would pass wealth onto their children? Could you forecast the way that they would… Anyway, is this very, very future looking. And in the meantime, what happened was, like people’s day to day like financial behaviors just keep getting worse. So people are saving less-

Ryan Isaac:
Still not saving money.

Reese Harper:
… they’re spending more. They’re not properly funding retirement contributions into qualified plans, their estate plans largely remain unfunded and their beneficiaries for their policies and life insurance and disability and liability largely remain under insured. And yet the industry is still like just meeting with people, and they’re forecasting the future of what life might look like during retirement. And that was kind of the trend for 10, 15, 20 years. And it still is to this day, like even of the all the good planners that I’m targeting of the majority of those are still really having a hard time, like this new way that we’re doing planning, which is more focused on today, the present moment, life right now, this is the alternative to forecasting is, what do I fix today? What do I improve today? What do I change today that essentially fixes my future?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, will have an effect on the future.

Reese Harper:
But I don’t need to like obsess about the future. I don’t need to worry about the future. I don’t need to get anxious and stressed.

Ryan Isaac:
Especially because most of it’s guessing anyway.

Reese Harper:
We don’t know like maybe you’re going to inherit a bunch of money, maybe not. Maybe you’re going to grow your income by three times what it is today, maybe not. Maybe your incomes going to be the same today as it’s going to be for the next 20 years. None of that will actually though, like stressing, worrying like over indexing on what’s going to happen in 15 years, 10 years, it takes the focus away from your happiness today right now, in the moment. It’s like, psychologically been a big group of work has been done on what makes people happy. And it really a lot of it has to do with people that can embrace the present moment, like embrace their day, find the tactile just sense smell, feeling, food, texture, vision, sight, hearing, walking, touching, seeing. Like just experiencing each day in a present way, like kind of Eastern philosophy, a little bit more Buddhist Hindu kind of roots like that.

Reese Harper:
That’s actually what makes people feel connected to their flow. Whether you want to call that like a divine presence or you want to call that like just generally feeling good about life or whether you’re like agnostic to like spiritual stuff, or you’re a spiritual person. The present moment is where people actually find happiness in whatever their theology is. So financial planning is generally like, historically it’s brought pain of the future into the present, which is like what theologists or counselors or psychologists say don’t do.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, don’t do that [crosstalk 00:20:11].

Reese Harper:
Don’t do the future-

Ryan Isaac:
That’s the stress.

Reese Harper:
… thing because you’re going, like anxiety and stress about the future, is actually what causes pain and unhappiness and dissatisfaction, or [crosstalk 00:20:22] past or beating yourself up about your past too.

Ryan Isaac:
About what happened. It also puts the things you actually have control over, habits that you can form and work on today, the things you control, it puts them on the backbone when you just think so much in the future. And you stop worrying about like, “What can I do today? Like, what do I actually have control over? What can I do to start building something?” That’s really interesting, you’re finding [crosstalk 00:20:43].

Reese Harper:
Yeah. Anyways, so the philosophy of the software that we’re trying to develop is taking people away from this habit of like, “Well, I’ve got to get my clients so security statement put into the system so that I can forecast their retirement income.” It’s like she’s 51 and that’s not what the focus needs to be today, right now. We’ll do that. Like, there’s a place for that. We can do that.

Ryan Isaac:
But they have 15 years of work still. Or maybe to grow their business, their income.

Reese Harper:
That’s been the challenge, but it’s working.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay, so what do you find when, I mean, you’re drilling down into a segment of our industry that should resonate with that. I mean, they should connect to that in some way just because of what they’ve chosen to do in their careers, but is there tension there? Is there pushback on that? Is it hard for people to wrap their heads around?

Reese Harper:
Yes, it’s definitely a mixed bag.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s not what the industry is taught though. I mean, the whole history of our industry has not helped anybody focus on that. It hasn’t helped advisors focus on that, clients focus on that. So what are you getting from people as you’re trying to explain this in maybe new philosophy?

Reese Harper:
It probably it depends on the person, but I’m getting like really, really positive feedback from some people about, oh my gosh, like this is like, I was just looking for someone that just texted me. I get texts every day from people telling me like, “Oh my gosh, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I can’t believe that like you’re building this.” This is going to change the industry. This is exactly what I want. This is what our clients need. And then I’m getting people like, does this work on computers or it just on the phone? I’m getting that kind of customer where they’re just like, does this work on my PC, looks like you’re an Apple guy. And I’m like, well, we’re building like a native mobile solution which means like the client, like the difference in native mobile and web is like, you can run software on a phone, and it feels like it’s faster, it changes quicker. There’s no bugs that like freeze it as much.

Reese Harper:
There’s no internet connection required to launch the app, and you don’t have to put in your user credentials to make it like work. Those are all really great things for the client, like the end client user that wants to just be able to see their data. But a lot of advisors, like don’t want to work on a phone, or they want to use a computer. And I understand that like it get it. We’re in like the first month of sales though and so we don’t have like every platform built where we have to sell what we have, which is this great mobile experience that we’ve started with, because we wanted to try to get the client to engage in this process easier and with less friction.

Ryan Isaac:
And more likely on a phone.

Reese Harper:
Ans way more likely on the phone, it’s easier and it’s working. But you get the gamut from I love what you’re doing to I don’t like this, because this isn’t how I’m used to working and I want to work the way I’m used to working. I just want your reports, I want my reports to look prettier.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, better design [crosstalk 00:24:10]. I want the same reports, I just want them to look better. I want them to like be Apple-fied.

Reese Harper:
Yeah. And so like it’s interesting. I’m not judging them, I’m just kind of like out of the market that have already narrowed it down to. I would say half of them are perfect customers and the other half are like, just a little bit behind the times in terms of what they’re trying, the problems they’re trying to solve are they’re going to cause them to be outdated. The industry is going to go past them over the next 10 years, as they kind of hold on to their old ways of doing things. The way we’re doing things just is a little bit faster, that allows people to get to answers to 90% of their questions without having to have perfect data, and perfectly not… I think there’s been a historical except like kind of precedent for, we got to collect everything, it all has to be perfect. We have to get every last bit of data, and then…

Ryan Isaac:
Like the report or [crosstalk 00:25:15].

Reese Harper:
[crosstalk 00:25:15] goes. But we can’t talk to the client until we have everything. And I think that’s not how most people work. Like if somebody like tells you the value of their house and gives you a couple of debts that they have, and maybe an investment account, that should be a good start. And you should just keep building on that and be like, okay.

Ryan Isaac:
You show it to them and then they go and this happens all the time. We onboard someone, we spend a month building a balance sheet and all this stuff. And then first conversation after that is like, oh, I actually still have like three other accounts over here. Which is great, you’re like, cool, this made this conversation happen.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, and I’m finding it’s actually letting the client for the first time create their own net worth statement as opposed to me creating them for them, actually allows them to learn things that they didn’t know. Because historically, I’ve always been like building my own clients net worth statement and entering all their data for them.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s much work off their plate [crosstalk 00:26:11].

Reese Harper:
Possible, and every advisor request that, they’re like, “I don’t want my client out to lift a finger.” And like, well, the cost of that is unfortunately the client doesn’t feel ownership of their information either. Like if they don’t put it in, then they don’t believe it.

Ryan Isaac:
You don’t know.

Reese Harper:
And they won’t remember if they’re missing things or what things might be valued wrong. Like it takes them kind of doing that work periodically to get to gain the mental…

Ryan Isaac:
Well, I’ll just say I mean, maybe that’s a personality thing as an advisor, I feel that way I don’t like when people… I mean it’s helpful in a system but I don’t like when people prepare reports for me, like [crosstalk 00:26:55] on behalf of, or like, they’re helping me prepare for a client meeting. We’ll have like team pitching and I’m still thinking like, I kind of just I want to enter the data. Like I want to go to this, I want to [crosstalk 00:27:06] find the data.

Reese Harper:
You want to trust it.

Ryan Isaac:
I want to trust it, and I want to see it, and then I’ll know it, and then it just, it feels different when you are. So that’s cool that you’re trying to translate that into a client experience. We want to take a break for just a second remind you how easy it is to book a free consultation with one of our dental specific advisors. What you do is you go to dentistadvisors.com and you’ll see a big green button that says, book free consultation.

Reese Harper:
Can’t miss it.

Ryan Isaac:
Click that button and book a time that works for you or you can just call us at 833 DDS plan. Let’s start a conversation about how we can help you with your finances. Two questions, you’re busy man and this has been awesome time. You touched on this a little bit about how few firms that you’re talking to have like kind of chosen a niche and only focused on one thing. What do you think about, like what do you what does that mean in the industry? Is that a trend that’s developing? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but what’s that like as you’re talking to people, whether they have a niche or not? And how does that affect their practice and their future?

Reese Harper:
Yeah. Well, it’s hard for advisors that don’t have a niche to develop any real value proposition like the people that have niches have pretty significant lead different growth rates. The growth rates of people with niches and there’s a lot of different kinds of niches. There’s women in transition. There’s women in tech, there’s…

Ryan Isaac:
You said Chick-fil-A owners. That’s a real actual firm that only works with Chick-fil-A owners, right?

Reese Harper:
Yeah, we have a customer called Panda Wealth that is a customer of Elements. And they have a few 100 clients on the platform now. And they only work with, they call them operators. They’re [crosstalk 00:29:05] founder is an operator, they have equity in the location and they do really well.

Ryan Isaac:
Well, it makes sense to me, because if I had a friend that was an operator, and was like, “Do you want to be my advisor?” I could try, but the person who only works with Chick-fil-A operators is going to know so much more than I’m going to.

Reese Harper:
They literally manage like the benefit plan of the…

Ryan Isaac:
Oh, yes, I wouldn’t even know.

Reese Harper:
So I’ve had a lot of referrals come to me, from our advisor customers that I’ve passed on to some of the advisors in our firm at Dentist Advisors that have come in and say, “My brother’s a dentist, and I just feel like intimidated, would you guys just help him?” And that’s happened a bunch. And I think that-

Ryan Isaac:
That’s cool.

Reese Harper:
… so you see higher growth rates when people pick a niche. Also what you see is when people don’t have a focus or a target audience, then it’s sad, like some people will be five years and they just don’t even… They have like 20 clients after like five years of work.

Ryan Isaac:
You just can’t get traction because you don’t know where to go.

Reese Harper:
And you’re so generic, like this is the worst time to be a generic financial planner, because-

Ryan Isaac:
Interesting.

Reese Harper:
… technologies evolving quick and there’s great direct to consumer options for people to invest money in ways they haven’t been able to before. You can go set up a Wealthfront account or a betterment account or a Robinhood account. You can have a Coinbase account, Coinbase Pro, you can dodge your way, all the way to the finish line.

Ryan Isaac:
Dodge your way to the finish line.

Reese Harper:
So you have these like direct to consumer options which makes the commodity of investing, like be almost, it brings down, like the value is not there. If you’re like just a generic investment advisor, like, hey, I could buy some ETFs for you. It’s like a…

Ryan Isaac:
And then what? What else?

Reese Harper:
But if you have like more to add, if you’re like, “Well, I know more about your career,” like this is what Dentist Advisors would say, right? Like, I know more about your career than probably you do, not because I know more about clinical dentistry than you do, but your actual career. Like the way I’ve seen hundreds, if not 1000 dentists analyze DSO decisions and expansion plans and associates and taking jobs at different DSOs. And whether I should go W2 or contractor and how to negotiate my comp. These are all career decisions that are really valuable, then you have like very technical things relating to loans and financing and taxes and that all are very dental specific, like there’s like a lot of value in being a niche advisor.

Reese Harper:
And these generic advisors they’re just grasping for things to like help them stand out. The advisors that commit to a niche, or just the bigger firms, they get a lot of traction, they start growing. And I met with a veterinarian focus firm today that is pretty massive. And I was like, man, like there’s…

Ryan Isaac:
So cool.

Reese Harper:
It’s just cool to see. And clients, the results are better, like their client results are just so much better.

Ryan Isaac:
I’m sure relationships are just different too. I don’t have any other context, because that’s all I’ve ever known is dentist. I’m sure there’s different [crosstalk 00:32:34].

Reese Harper:
Yeah, and just like I sit down with like you said dozen plus people every day and it’s interesting to see, the bulk of the industry is still very not specialized and that causes them all kinds of inefficiency gains, plus they don’t have a steady stream of new clients, plus they… so it’s definitely a niche is important. It’s more importantly the clients themselves are just getting like way better advice and I see that every day.

Ryan Isaac:
That’s awesome. Okay, last main question. The future of financial planning is what?

Reese Harper:
Well, it’s what software and business model Dentist Advisors is doing, and what software Elements is building. But that future is going to take a while to come into fruition because the industry is just resistant to change.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s big and old.

Reese Harper:
It’s big, it’s old, it’s slow. I’m like, you can do financial planning on your phone, man, like, it’s not that complicated. There’s like, I got to get back into the office, I’ve got to sit in the chair. I got to get the PC up, get that McAfee antivirus software update installed and then…

Ryan Isaac:
McAfee anti-virus software.

Reese Harper:
And then I’ll be able to load my NaviPlan, forecast. And then I’ll realize I don’t have a data point, so I’m going to pop a letter in the mail to a client and ask them to fill out a form.

Ryan Isaac:
You’re joking around but you’re right, it isn’t like this is really what’s happening.

Reese Harper:
This is like…

Ryan Isaac:
This is still process.

Reese Harper:
This is [crosstalk 00:34:20] happening. The tax industry is largely this way to where it’s just like there are accountants, many accountants I meet with who want to get into financial planning, they’re signing up for these appointments too. They got securities licenses, they’re like, I want to do financial planning, be more holistic. I’m like what tax software are you using? And they’re like, I still do it by hand. And I’m like [crosstalk 00:34:45] by hand, like you can do that? I didn’t know that’s a thing you could do.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s still legal.

Reese Harper:
And they’re showing me like, they’re literally like they got a grid paper of the tax forms, and they’re filling them out, and they’re mailing those things in. And that’s like, it’s still happening. So where’s the future going? I think the future is going to a place where highly specialized advisors like Ryan and Matt and Will, and Jake, and Cody, and Abby, and Jordan, like these advisors that are dental niche or specialist related, they’re going to have so much information about the career, about the job, about the choices, about the emotional decisions that people have to make, as well as the functional stuff like where to put the money, how to save it properly, what rates you need to save that, best practices. They just know so much, but they’re still doing right now a lot of firms, maybe less Dentist Advisors, still doing a lot of really expensive time consuming data collection, data organization, data management, data…

Ryan Isaac:
Time consuming.

Reese Harper:
Very time consuming. So I think that that world of like organizing information, I think it’s going to shift where the client has to take a little bit more ownership of that for it to be accurate and efficient and not expensive.

Ryan Isaac:
That’s true. Yeah.

Reese Harper:
So if the client kind of, the client won’t be able to do that unless it’s simple and easy and intuitive and really cakewalk.

Ryan Isaac:
And mobile.

Reese Harper:
And mobile, and so if the client can kind of be a little bit more involved, then advisors will be able to even specialize deeper in the things that clients want them to learn about, which isn’t like how do I upload this document? Or how do I calculate?

Ryan Isaac:
I want you to understand the investment philosophy we’re using and why markets work in your favor over long periods of time, why savings rate is powerful.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, I want to talk to you about this tough decision you’re about to make and walk you through this and like let’s listen. I just want to listen. I’m going to spend my time listening. I want to spend my time learning how to be a better listener and really building a unique strategy that’s customed to this person, that’s unique to this person, that no amount of technology could ever make these perfect recommendations like I’m going to make because I’m a human with better processing power when it comes to intuition and customization. And, like that’s where I see things going and it’ll be cool to see how long it takes to get there.

Ryan Isaac:
Yes. Okay. Last question. The people want to know, favorite meal you’ve eaten in recent memory, dude, you can think of.

Reese Harper:
One of the truth.

Ryan Isaac:
I miss talking about food with you, so like what’s the best meal you’ve had lately?

Reese Harper:
The truth tip for the people to know is I’m in [crosstalk 00:37:50] mode. And what means [crosstalk 00:37:52] I’m freaking sack lunching like everything, like every penny to me right now is like sacred and I am freaking out about overhead all the time. Because you’re literally like looking at your costs all the time. When I was in financial advisor mode and I wasn’t building software, I was much more casual about my lunch budget. Right now I’m like, Okay, well, I can…

Ryan Isaac:
Sad to see I’m going to…

Reese Harper:
I can have a third day on this. Now Friday nights, I still give myself the pleasure of going out with Barbie and I don’t like usually go the most expensive place. There’s plenty of good food. Right now if you’re going to come to Salt Lake and you want my favorite new recommendation, it is called White Horse. It is on Main Street about third South. There’s a legend of the white Horse that is very interesting. It’s Utah Folklore in history that you guys would be fascinated by. And they have some of the most unique dishes. It’s a really amazing spot.

Ryan Isaac:
Right, Whitehorse. [crosstalk 00:38:57].

Reese Harper:
It’s on Whiskey Street right next to the original. The only authorized to place in Salt Lake from the 19th century that could distribute whiskey was Whiskey Street and it’s one small block and all the best restaurants are still there and they’re ancient. These are like a couple 100 year old.

Ryan Isaac:
Cool.

Reese Harper:
[crosstalk 00:39:17] buildings, yeah, it’s cool.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s [crosstalk 00:39:20].

Reese Harper:
Anyway, best-

Ryan Isaac:
Okay, man.

Reese Harper:
… specific food I had from that spot if you really want to know.

Ryan Isaac:
Yes. That’s [inaudible 00:39:24].

Reese Harper:
I’d probably have to say. I know people will think I’m kind of a sellout here, but they like smoke their own corned beef hash there. And there’s a pastrami sandwich on rye bread that they make, it’s just like the most amazing thing ever with carmelized onions and house cut fries. Like that’s a heavier thing on the menu. You can get a beautiful Cobb salad there. You can get an amazing [crosstalk 00:39:56]. But you want to try out that pastrami sandwich.

Ryan Isaac:
The pastrami.

Reese Harper:
… with the corned beef hash.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Mr. Reese Harper, dude, thanks for… It’s cool doing this again. We did this for 200 plus episodes together and it’s been a little while, so we’ll make this more frequent habit. But thanks for sharing all this man. This is a cool deep dive back into financial planning and niche in entrepreneurship and human eating.

Reese Harper:
I hope people can see the application to their lives a little bit too, but if nothing else, hopefully it was a fun one to catch up with everybody on, so thanks.

Ryan Isaac:
It was great, man. Thank you. Good luck to everything and we’ll catch you around soon. Thanks, man. See everybody. Thanks for tuning in.

 

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